When some people fail to understand God, they give up. God has to obey our own ideas about how he should act and feel. When Paul sees that his knowledge falls short, he responds with worship. The word for the quality of God in this passage is ineffable. This word means that the description is beyond the ability of words to explain. Paul prays that the Ephesians would understand that Jesus’ love is beyond comprehension.
I think that the hymns of yesteryear capture more accurately some of the theology of this passage:
Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.
Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;
Thy justice like mountains high soaring above
Thy clouds which are fountains of goodness and love.
To all life thou givest to both great and small;
In all life thou livest, the true life of all;
We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
And wither and perish but nought changeth thee.
Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
Thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight;
All laud we would render: O help us to see
‘Tis only the splendour of light hideth thee.
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
- Where is the Christian strengthened?
- How can an Ephesian know that which surpasses knowledge?
- How is the mind related to the spiritual growth of the Ephesians?
- How are you strengthened?
- Doyou know God’s love without truly understanding it? How is that possible?